A journey of discovery
When our daughter was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at the age of 7 our world was knocked off it’s axis – although we were aware that there was ‘something’, the autism diagnosis route was, as far as we believed, just another box to tick and to rule out, as we were guided towards a diagnosis of something which might explain her uniqueness. Having had autism training within my job I understood it to be ‘a child living in their own world, closed off to everyone and everything else’ and this just didn’t fit.
Once we had the diagnosis we embarked on a journey of discovery and understanding, with Autism West Midlands as our main guide. We attended courses which enabled us to recognise where behaviours and difficulties stemmed from, and to appreciate how the world looks through our daughter’s over- and under- sensitive senses. This gave us the opportunity to tap into our little girl and respond to her behaviour and difficulties in more appropriate ways.
In addition, Autism West Midlands have given us outreach support, offering one to one guidance at particular times of difficulty. This has extended to the whole family. Laughing with us at the hilarious (often inappropriate!) things, comforting us when it’s all a bit tough, and giving practical advice when we need it. Some members of our extended family struggled with our daughter’s diagnosis, and to understand the impact of autism on her and on us, but with help through meetings with Autism West Midlands they gained an understanding which has enabled us all to pull together, talk openly, and ultimately support and love our daughter the best way we can.
We are so incredibly grateful to Autism West Midlands, the support and guidance they have given us, and continue to give, had allowed us to accept our daughter’s diagnosis, to build a stronger family around her, and to feel confident in ourselves as parents. Our family moto is ‘you can be whoever you want to be’ – Autism West Midlands helps us to realise that this is absolutely true.
Pippa and Rich